Ferrari has claimed that the engine reliability issues they faced in 2022 have been resolved after “positive feedback” from the dyno work carried out on their 2023 power unit.
The Scuderia and its customer teams Alfa Romeo and Haas struggled in 2022 with regular reliability issues. Former team principal Mattia Binotto revealed in the latter stages of the season that Ferrari-powered teams were forced to “lower the power” of their engines to mitigate the chances of failures.
The current engine freeze means that manufacturers can only work on reliability upgrades however, rumours have circulated in the off-season of a 30bhp gain for 2023.
Despite the engine freeze, a performance gain would be perfectly legal in a case where the performance gain is a result of improved reliability that would allow the power unit to be pushed at higher limits than before.
Ferrari’s engine boss Enrico Gualtieri has said: “Preparation work for the new season is usually one of the busiest times of the year And this winter was no exception.
“Actually PUs have been frozen since last year, including fluids, so oil and fuel. And the only modifications allowed are those related to reliability.
“In fact, reliability was our Achilles heel last season. And so we worked over the winter to solve our main problems to try and reach the desired level of reliability. That was our aim for 2023. And our work this winter was based on this.”
Gualtieri admitted that only on-track running would prove whether or not the team had truly cured their reliability woes.
He went on to say that the team had paid close attention to the assembly process and design of the “suspect” components.
“We worked mainly on those areas that gave us the most trouble last season. So we focused on the internal combustion engine and the electric motors. However, at the same time, we tried to capitalise on the experience gained on track last season.
“And so we looked at all the feedback and signs of weakness from the PU components were used. Clearly, this involves various design areas of some components.
“But at the same time, we also revised when necessary our assembly procedures. The work involved all the PU personnel as well as our colleagues in the supply chain and our suppliers.
“We worked on all areas trying to understand the root causes of the problems we encountered on track and used all our available tools to try and solve them.”
Having investigated every aspect of the design and manufacturing process as well, Gualtieri believes that positive progress has been made.
“We’ve had some positive feedback on the test bench on some of the changes we’ve introduced. But as usual, the track will tell us if we’ve done a good job.”
New team principal Fred Vasseur echoed the thoughts of Gualtieri, saying: “I think the priority for everybody is reliability.
“When you are at this stage of the season, if you don’t have the reliability, you are not able to do the three days [of pre-season testing], and then you start on the wrong foot.
“We did the mileage that we have to do on the dyno, we are all optimistic, but only Bahrain will tell us where we are in terms of reliability and performance. So far, I would say that it’s all OK.”